Politics This Morning: CAF, Veterans Affairs to release suicide prevention strategy; Trudeau in Rolling Rampage event; Hussen and Goodale at House Immigration Committee

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is joining cabinet colleagues and military brass to unveil the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada's new suicide prevention strategy today in Ottawa.Hill Times file photograph

PUBLISHED :Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 11:50 PM

Good Thursday morning,

The Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada are unveiling their new joint suicide prevention strategy with an announcement at National Defence headquarters in downtown Ottawa today.

The strategy will be introduced by the political and military brass, with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, and Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance all set to be in attendance.

The technical media briefing starts at 10:45 a.m. EST, while the official announcement kicks off at noon.


Treasury Board President Scott Brison and Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. (EST) in the Charles Lynch Room in Centre Block to answer questions about the Goss Gilroy Inc. report, which was contracted by the Government of Canada to look at lessons learned from the transformation of the government’s pay administration, otherwise known as the disastrous Phoenix pay system. There will be a technical briefing for the media at the National Press Theatre at 11 a.m., but copies of the embargoed report can be picked up at 10 a.m.

Across town, Carleton University will be abuzz all day, as it hosts the seventh annual orientation for new diplomats, which starts at 8ish.

As for the Hill, it’s an NDP opposition day, with a motion by NDP MP Don Davies on universal pharmacare expected to be debated.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is attending the Rolling Rampage event on Parliament Hill at 11:45 a.m. The men’s and women’s 10-kilometre international wheelchair road race is in its 11th year. The PM is also attending Question Period at 2 p.m. As well, a young woman named Breanne will accompany the prime minister throughout the day as part of the Plan International Canada’s Girls Belong Here campaign, the PMO announced.


At 11 a.m., Bloc Québécois MP Michel Boudrias will hold a press conference in the Charles Lynch Room, 130-S, Centre Block to talk about his private member’s bill C-364, to make political financing laws in Canada more transparent and democratic.

In other news, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale will be appearing before the House Citizenship and Immigration Committee to brief members on asylum seekers entering Canada from the United States.

Federal immigration officials recently told the committee that they are grappling with a backlog of cases in the tens of thousands thanks to the surging number of asylum seekers, many of whom are crossing into Canada via Quebec.

Mr. Goodale and Mr. Hussen will appear before the committee from 8:45-10:45 a.m. in room 415 of the Wellington Building.


Government House Leader and Minister for Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger is also making a committee appearance, dropping by the House Government Operations and Estimates Committee to wade in on its study of Bill C-24, which authorizes the salaries of eight new ministerial positions, among other changes.

Ms. Chagger is appearing at the meeting, held in room 237-C in Centre Block, from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, who represents Cardigan, P.E.I., will back in his home province today at the Mussel King at 11 a.m. (local time) to make an announcement with P.E.I. Minster of Economic Development and Tourism Heath MacDonald.

Also in Prince Edward Island, at 11 a.m. Pierre-Yves Daoust, a veterinarian, pathologist and professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of P.E.I., and Emilie L. Couture, veterinarian with the Zoo de Granby and the Université de Montréal, will present their findings in the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperation report, on the North Atlantic right whale mortality event in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in 2017.

In Montreal, the Canadian American Business Council is marking Canada’s 150th anniversary with its With Faith and Goodwill, a massive hardcover book that curates 150 years of Canada-U.S. friendship and cooperation, and will be at the Palais des congrès de Montreal.

At 10:15 a.m. (local time) in Calgary, the Royal Canadian Mint will officially unveil a two-dollar circulation coin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the Military Museums of Calgary.

Also in Montreal, at 2 p.m., Canadian Space Agency President Sylvain Laporte will take part in the Montreal Space Symposium at the Palais des congress de Montreal.

Meanwhile, the House Finance Committee is in Yellowknife, N.W.T., Thursday for the latest round of pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2018 budget. The Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee is also on the road today, visiting Montreal as part of its study on the potential impact of climate change on the agriculture, agri-food, and forestry sectors.

In other Hill news, the Parliamentary Budget Office will post its Fiscal Sustainability Report 2017 on its official website at about 10 a.m.

Moving to the Big Smoke, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is meeting with private-sector economists to gather their views on the Canadian and world economies.

A media availability after the meeting will take place at 10:30 a.m. at 150 King St. West in downtown Toronto.

And finally, we’d like to extend happy birthday wishes to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Liberal MPs Don Rusnak, Peter Fonseca, and Vance Badawey; NDP MP David Christopherson; and Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski.

Have a great day!